SA township pop diva to grace local fashion awards

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TALENTED South African musician and icon of township pop music Tamara Dey is expected to grace this year’s Zimbabwe Fashion Awards Week 2013 (ZFW) on Saturday night in Harare.

Report by Tinashe Sibanda

This event will mark the conclusion of the event to be held at Sam Levy’s Village from Thursday to Saturday.

This year’s theme is Fashion Through the Ages, a tribute to centuries of creativity and artistic endeavour that stand today as the most significant symbols of any historical period or expression of national identity.

“Tamara has been in huge demand at fashion shows, television shows, for club and corporate performances, managing to cross all cultural, age and language barriers.

“She has unassumingly been recognised as one of the few South African artistes contributing towards bridging the gap between all cultures, ages and races thus we are happy to have her perform here too,” ZFW head of public relations Rutendo Mutsamwira said.

Dey has appeared on various features and photographic spreads in leading South African magazines like Heat, Marie-Claire, You, Glamour, Seventeen, In Style, People, Cosmo and Y-Mag.

Mutsamwira said in addition to that, her true status as one of South Africa’s style icons was evident in her being appointed brand ambassadors to Emporio Armani and Armani Collezione, La Mer, Safilo (Dior Eyewear), Michelangelo handbags (Milan) and Carlton Hair — David Guilson (Celebrity Hairstylist) brands.

“Tamara is also associated with her local clothing designers, namely Malcolm Kluk, Black Coffee and Marion & Lindie,” she added.

With 11 official languages in South Africa, Tamara’s music has been described as the “unofficial language”.

Born in Belgium of an Italian father and South African mother, Dey first burst onto the music scene in 2000.

She was discovered by DJ Pepsi, who introduced her to Bruce Sebitlo and Oscar Mdlongwa, directors of house and kwaito music group Brothers of Peace (BOP) and the result was a collaboration, which produced the chart-topping Thathi Mphahla Yakho which launched her career.

Her collaboration with BOP on this track saw her travel across South Africa on the Sony Summer Sounds Tour 2000, with a group of 60 artistes including the likes of Mandla Spikiri’s Trompies and Mafikizolo.

The track was nominated for three South African Music Awards in early 2001.

August 2001 saw the debut release of The First Lady, a five-track collection of some of the hottest talent on the local dance scene, including collaborations with Thembi Seete, Lebo Mathosa and Thandiswa Mazwai.

In 2005, Tamara created and was the lead singer for the dance outfit Flash Republic, with her partners DJs Ryan Dent and Craig Massiv.

The trio toured Europe in 2005 and released their debut album Time Is Now when they returned.

Together with Flash Republic, Tamara has performed at the closing parties of both Cape Town and Johannesburg Fashion Weeks.

In addition to this, the highly-sought-after dance outfit has also opened for international music gurus Fatboy Slim, Kelis and John Legend.